The Internet is full of advertising. I just saw a banner for eharmony.com, which claims to have more marriages per match than any other dating service. But I’m skeptical. The entire site, which describes itself as a Christian ministry to singles, was started by Neil Clark Warren, who also wrote the book Date . . . or Soul Mate: How to Know if Someone is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less. And he’s made it clear in his many books and public appearances that he believes dating is a waste of everybody’s time.
On the average, Warren says, a single person will go on 100 dates before he or she marries. Statistics show that only one in four marriages are happy. Therefore, he concludes that 400 dates will produce four marriages, and only one of those marriages will be happy.
“This society has such a hard time getting marriage right,” he says. “Seventy percent of us have experienced a broken home, either from our parents’ or our own failed marriages. If only we could get society to understand that it doesn’t have to be that way. If you find somebody matched with you, you can have a perfect marriage.”
Here’s my issue with Warren: He promises something that might not be good for us — efficient and compatible matches. But successful relationships aren’t about compatibility. (Anyone can be compatible. It’s a skill, not a trait.) Relationships are about commitment, respect, sacrifice, patience, self-control, mercy.
Besides all that, I’m not sure we can completely trust anyone who is making money off his own advice. That’s called conflict of interest. And all too often, that kind of guru turns out to be a huckster.
He promises something that might not be good for us